England C stunned by late winner

England defeat: Mickey Demetriou.

England defeat: Mickey Demetriou.

First published in News

THERE was disappointment for Harriers defender Mickey Demetriou as England C were edged out 1-0 in Slovkia on Saturday.

Martin Vrablec bagged an 81st-minute cracker to separate the sides in a tightly contest Internatonal Challenge Trophy clash.

It means Paul Fairclough’s Three Lions must now go to Turkey in October and win if they are to keep their ICT hopes alive.

Demetriou, who has yet to sign a new deal with Kidderminster, played the entire game.

Defeat was far from what England deserved, after putting in a good performance that just couldn’t quite bring a goal of their own.

James Norwood called keeper Dobrivoj Rusov into action early on with a sweet volley while Keanu Marsh-Brown and Elliott Frear were providing threats on the wing.

Slovakia captain Richard Lasik already has three full international caps to his name and most of the hosts’ best work was going through the midfielder.

Adam Zrel’ak forced a good block from England stopper Mitch Walker, who was also in action early in the second half by denying Milan Lalkovic and Martin Chrien in quick succession.

Walker then made his best save of the game from substitute Tomas Malec with a strong forearm stop as Norwood went agonisingly close at the other end.

But there was no stopping Vrablec when the full-back took aim from distance and fired in the winner.

However, manager Fairclough was pleased with the performance, saying: "I’m very, very proud,"

"We could not have done any more, obviously scoring a goal would be helpful, but I could go through the whole squad and every single player had an outstanding performance.

"Obviously the outcome means we’ve got to go and win in Turkey and we’ve got to go and win against Estonia. But we can take confidence from this performance today."

England C (4-3-3): Walker; Yiadom, Roberts, Franks, Demetriou, Bradley (Marwood 86), Payne, Pearson, (Gallagher 80), Marsh-Brown (Maddison 70), Norwood (Taylor 86), Frear (Fitzpatrick 90).

Subs not used: Coughlin, MacDonald.

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